The 2015 University of Haifa Board of Governors’ Meeting, attended by more than 100 lay leaders from nine countries, was held over four eventful days, June 1-4. Prof. Alfred I. Tauber, Chairman of the Board of Governors, presided over the Meeting, at which the Governors and other friends of the University received an in-depth view of the vast academic and social activities in which the University is engaged and came away with a renewed commitment to support the mission and help achieve the ambitious goals of the University.
• the famous Israeli actress Orna Porat;
• the Israeli journalist, writer and Holocaust survivor Noah Klieger ;
• Prof. Carol Padden from the University of California San Diego for her pioneering and ongoing contribution to the study of sign language;
• Prof. Robert Alter from the University of California, Berkeley, in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the study of comparative literature in general, and in study and translating of Hebrew literature in particular;
• Jay and Shira Ruderman, based in Boston and Israel, in recognition of visionary leadership contributing towards the acceptance of those who are ‘different’ and ‘outsiders’ in the mainstream, and their generous contribution to establishing the Ruderman Program for American-Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa; and
• Felix Posen in recognition of his great contribution to strengthening Jewish culture through education, instruction, and knowledge, and on his contribution to the University of Haifa in establishing programs for teaching the Jewish tradition, and for establishing the Posen Forum for the Study of Jewish, Israeli and European Political Thought. Learn more about the honorees.
Highlight #2 – University leaders delivered updates on the University. President Amos Shapira’s report noted that, over the past 3 years:
• The University is continuing to grow and develop.
• It has absorbed over 100 new researchers
• Saw an increase of approximately 1000 students.
• Benefited from a 30% increase in fundraising.
President Shapira also emphasized that the University is becoming a leading research institute in many areas of research, contributing important scientific discoveries that strengthen the State of Israel, making it a better place to live for future generations, regardless of their religion, gender and race.
Highlight #3 — Participants at this year’s Board of Governors’ Meeting toured Israeli’s Northern border and received a fascinating view of the challenges facing the Galilee region and the Northern Border from Prof. Arnon Soffer, Head of the Chaiklin Chair in Geostrategy.
The guests also visited the fascinating Ma’agan Mikhael Ancient Ship Replica Project in Acre hosted by Prof. Yaacov Kahanov, Head of the Restoration Project and saw firsthand the pioneering Community Improvement Projects taking place in Acre with Dr. Noga Collins-Kreiner, Head of the Center for Research on Haifa and Northern Israel.
Highlight #4 — This year the University of Haifa awarded a record number of PhDs, 155, in a festive ceremony. The new PhDs joined the traditional academic procession led by the University administration and the Mayor of Haifa. The procession took to the streets of Haifa where citizens joined in the celebration.
Highlight #5 – The main theme of the 43rd Annual Board of Governors’s Meeting was Israel and the World – Academic Perspectives. The Keynote speaker was Prof. Uzi Arad from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and head of the National Security Council. His fascinating lecture was titled “The Global Strategic Challenge – A Strong Israel in a Perilous World”. The discussion day also included discussions moderated by Board of Governors members and featuring University of Haifa subject matter experts dealing with global Israeli relations: Europe and Israel, North American and Israel and the Middle East and Israel.
Highlight #6 – There was a festive Celebration of the Construction of the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences Building which will be home to 10 departments and schools which make up the third largest Faculty at the University. “The essence of our activities is to make Israel a better place to live in” stated the Dean of the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences Prof. Shai Linn.
The construction of the 5,300 square meter building is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Special guests during the ceremony were Prof. Arnon Afek, the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Health, who stated that he commends the combination of welfare and health studies being housed together and it should serve as an example as to how these two areas should collaborate, and Yossi Silman, the Director General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, who added that he hopes that the profession of welfare and health will be housed under the same Ministry. He stated that “it is the future of the field”.
Highlight #7 – Prof. David Faraggi awarded three prestigious prizes to faculty members:
• The Dusty and Ettie Miller Fellowship for Outstanding Young Scholars to Dr. Sigal Zilcha-Mano from the Department of Psychology;
• The 2014/5 Rector’s Award for Outstanding Lecturer to Dr. Omer Kimhi from the Faculty of Law; and
• The 2014/5 Rector’s Award for Outstanding Researcher to Prof. Guy Bar-Oz, the Head of the Department of Archaeology and the recipient of a prestigious ERC EU research grant for his fascinating research.
Highlight #8 – One of the ceremonies to take place during this Meeting was the inauguration of the Hatter Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge is vital for the student population and anyone parking in the outlying parking areas of the University campus, because it provides a safe way to cross the busy road separating the University and these parking areas. The bridge not only provides a safe crossing point but it also serves as an outlook point where anyone can enjoy the gorgeous views of the Carmel.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Haifa, Mr. Yona Yahav and the student representatives, past and present. The construction of this important bridge was made possible with the generous support of Sir Maurice and Lady Irene Hatter from the United Kingdom, the Municipality of Haifa and the University of Haifa.
Highlight #9 – During the Meeting a campaign was launched for raising funds for the proposed Faculty of Law Building. The campaign was launched at an event sponsored by the Swiss Friends of the University of Haifa, celebrating a $1 million gift to the building campaign, in the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Gad Barzilai, faculty members, Adv. Oded Dardikman a Board member of the Swiss Friends, President Amos Shapira and supporters from around the world.